Q: Dear Susie: we named our little girl Ralph. It seemed like a good idea but now she comes home from school crying because the other kids tease her so much. We could change her name but that might make things worse. I have an aunt somewhere in Wyoming and maybe we should move there. Susie, we trust you and we’ll do anything you say.
A: I must say, in the three years that I’ve been doing this column, your question almost made me cry with its content. It’s unbelievable to me that people can be so cruel. We’re dealing with that in our house as well, with our sweetest 8-year-old son. He just doesn’t know how to make sense of kids being mean to him. He doesn’t know what he’s doing to make them say those things to him. So I constantly explain to him that when people are happy with themselves, they don’t feel the need to make fun of or hurt other people. I also explain that it isn’t about him—it’s about the person being mean. That person is probably mean to others as well.
But sometimes that doesn’t help if you feel a constant attack of meanness from someone, or from a group of people. It’s hard to always protect yourself and block yourself from those negative energies. For the record, I happen to love the name of Ralph for a little girl. I wanted to have a daughter and name her Sam (Samantha). I don’t necessarily think that changing her name will make things better or worse, because I don’t think that’s the problem. When I tune in to your little girl, I see a sweet, sensitive being. She is being taught to be considerate and respectful of others, to be loving and accepting as well. Amazing traits, wouldn’t you agree? And you, as her parent, are responsible for instilling her with those traits and those beliefs. As I explain to my son, nobody starts out life as mean - they learn that as they go. So someone has patterned meanness and judgmentalism and prejudice to those children who are teasing Ralph. Anybody different than themselves is open to attack. Here I go out on my proverbial limb to say, “that’s wrong!!!” If everyone in the world were exactly the same, it would be like the episode on “Fairly Oddparents” when Timmy wishes that everyone were the same so he wouldn’t be picked on for wearing his pink hat. Everyone is now just a gray blob, but the mean dentist now says that his gray is grayer and better than anyone else’s gray! While that all may sound silly, it rings with the truth.
Does your daughter have some good friends to support her? Is it possible to switch schools? I know that may seem like the coward’s way out, but there has been a great deal of publicity going around about bullying, and that seems to be what your daughter is faced with. I don’t get the idea that it’s just because of her name, however. I’m also picking up that because of her sensitivity, the kids seem to be able to feel that vulnerability and attack more. I know of one little girl that was harassed unmercifully, and finally had to switch to a private school, where she was embraced. I’m not saying that private schools are always the answer, but sometimes getting away from the group mentality of a certain place is necessary.
Your daughter is a beautiful, shining light - she is gentle and caring and very very sweet. But we need to get her to feel some protection down here on Earth, because well, sometimes it’s not very friendly down here. It’s great to have that sweet feminine energy, but you also need a good dose of powerful masculine energy in your life to help you set boundaries, to help you be strong, to be able to stand tall when someone attacks you, so you can say, “Oh no, you don’t—back off,” and that other person feels that energy and does back off. You could help your daughter visualize a silver bubble of protection all around her. Ask her to call to mind a very powerful man that can act as her protector. I’m seeing what looks like an angel, but if you don’t believe in them, you can think of anything that makes sense to you. She can find a name for him, talk to him, ask him for help. What this will do is call some of that necessary masculine energy to her so that she can feel more empowered and able to defend and take care of herself.
It doesn’t necessarily help to move to another city or state - if the issues are with your daughter, then it doesn’t matter where she is - she will always have the same things keep coming up until something changes within her. It’s not “bad” for her to be the way she is - in a perfect world, we’d all be gentle and good and kind. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. There is anger and violence and hatred and prejudice, so the question then becomes how do we live in the world, still being true to who we are, but without being battered and abused? I think one answer is what I suggested—to also bring into her life that strength of the masculine energy in the symbolic form of a male guide that will protect her.
In regards to you saying you will do whatever I say, please do not do what I say, just because I say it. Please take what I’ve written and see if it makes sense to you. Ask your daughter if it makes sense to her - ask her what she wants to do. You are in charge of your life, and are in charge of helping your daughter grow, so you know her better than I do, or anyone else does, for that matter. I would also like to extend the gift of both of my meditation CDs for your daughter to listen to - they have very beautiful music on them, and my words may be soothing to her. If you e-mail me your address I will gladly send them to you. Please give your daughter a hug for me - I see that she will get through all of this, and in the end will have a deeper understanding of the world and how it works, and even of her place in it. She will become stronger because of all of this, and it will give her even more compassion and understanding. In the end, all of this will make her stronger. Thank you for your question.
- Members only features
- Members can email articles, add articles as favorites, add tags to articles and more. Register now to unlock additional features.